Ht – 6’2” Wt – 250lb Class – SR
2021 Stats – 62 tackles, 18 TFL, 9.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 PD (12 Games Played)
Career Stats – 120 tackles, 28.5 TFL, 15.5 Sacks, 5 FF, 1 PD (28 Games Played)
Hand Counters – Ebiketie doesn’t have an advanced hand-fighting arsenal. He mostly just sticks to his one successful move – the swipe move when bending the edge. There is much room for development in this area of his game.
Bend – A very agile and bendy threat off the edge, Ebiketie even lined up upright, using his length to slip around the edge. He also has a great ability to get low and curl the edge with quickness and precision.
Power – Doesn’t rush with much functional strength. Although he had occasions of displaying a good bull-rush, it was never sustainable, and usually was powered by momentum rather than functional strength.
Pass-Rush Moves – His arsenal is tiny and undeveloped. Ebiketie has one move – the shoulder shimmy. To his credit, it is very hard to stop, and he deploys it with perfect timing and execution. Combining the shoulder shimmy with the ability to get low and swipe hands can lead to one deadly move.
Run Support – Not stout at all. He struggled to get off blocks with good timing, and he didn’t hold his edge or his holes with a good anchor.
Quickness & Burst – Lacks above average quickness or explosiveness. He is a very underwhelming athlete, who is average off the snap. He doesn’t chop his feet with speed or move with agility and quickness.
Versatility – He played a lot of 5T and Edge at Penn State, with his hand in the dirt or standing up. Although his size makes it hard to project his best positional fit, he has the experience for both.
Physicality – Ebiketie plays with the requisite physicality, but he struggles mightily in traffic. He has a good inside move, but if he is met with any resistance his attack falters. He gets manhandled by double-teams and has no success on the interior.
Tackling & Pursuit – Very poor technique. His pursuit and motor are good, but he doesn’t wrap up well. Ball carriers consistently got past him with any semblance of power or shiftiness.
Combine – Ebiketie blew me away at the Combine. Although his performance didn’t receive much attention, he greatly helped his stock. Going in, I assumed he was a poor athlete with average length. Then, he measures in with a massive 81 6/8” wingspan. He also jumped an outstanding 38” Vert and 10’8” Broad. Those are phenomenal numbers.
If you were to just look at his stats and ignore his tape, Arnold Ebiketie looks like a stud prospect. After transferring from Temple, he put up phenomenal statistical Sack & TFL numbers in his final season at Penn State. However, I contend that most (if not all) of his statistical success came from a few rare individual plays of getting home, rather than a true dominance that led to the high numbers.
On an individual trait basis, Ebiketie is very underwhelming. He has only one pass-rush move, and his run support is terrible. He plays with middling athleticism, he’s not quick, and he can’t handle the interior physicality. Additionally, his tackling ability and football IQ are abhorrent for a defender. That list of true flaws is extensive and covers nearly all of the important traits. This is very concerning.
However, there is a ray of hope for Ebiketie. As I mentioned in my Scouting Guide, this position is proactive, so having one elite trait can mask many (or in this case, an endless amount of) flaws. His one pass-rush move, the shoulder shimmy, is unstoppable. He shakes back and forth while gaining momentum, and it forces blockers to remain on their toes. He can then use their lack of anchor and balance to cut inside or bounce outside, or even take advantage of his momentum and bull-doze through them.
I don’t project Ebiketie to have a long and successful pro career. The list of flaws is too overwhelming, and they are all big flaws. Best case scenario, he has a standout season using his trademark move. Eventually, however, blockers will learn how to stop it, rendering him very stoppable. That’s an interesting scenario, but is it worth the risk? I would say not with any early picks.
See Arnold Ebiketie’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.